Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Meant to Be

Our House in the Middle of Our Street

A somewhat creative shot of our house...I couldn't cross the street to get a better view because the dog would follow.  Oh the dog?  Not ours, unfortunately.  She belongs to my friends and we get to dog-sit sometimes and we love her. For a better (and more wintry) view of my house you can look at the bottom of this post.

When I first came out here to look for a house, I was overwhelmed and underwhelmed and completely disappointed.  Nothing really seemed right, and it was hard not having Joel with me to help.  My mom was with me and she helped a great deal, although she wasn't going to have to live in the place we ultimately chose, and that's just different.

Anyway, I did visit our house while I was here.  It and another one I saw were the only ones that I could imagine my family inhabiting, but I wasn't really sure.  Both homes were old and needed work.  Both weren't anything like what I envisioned I wanted.  But, there were no other choices.

Once I was back in Utah, Joel and I prayed a lot about which house we should buy.  For a while, we just thought that maybe nothing I saw on my visit was right for us and we diligently checked the real estate listings every single day.  Still nothing was right.  Wrong location, wrong price, wrong size, wrong feeling, wrong everything.  And I couldn't stop thinking about the house on A---- Street.

Finally, after much prayer and fasting and discussion and prayer (and did I mention prayer?), we called our realtor and had him measure the garage.  We decided that if that teeny tiny garage would fit our minivan, then we would make an offer on the house.  Because we couldn't not have a garage.  Not with the winters here.

Not surprisingly, our van fit perfectly.  I mean, it's a snug fit, and it always scares me a little bit pulling the car into or backing out of the garage in the winter, but it fits.  (We won't talk about how I knocked the side mirror off this past winter while backing out.)(Oops.)  And so, we took a deep breath and we made the offer.

Then we eventually moved in.  Like I said, the house needs a lot of work, you can see in the photo how badly it needs a paint job.  But, we've done a lot of improving and it has always felt perfect for our family despite its many flaws and the tiny garage. I know this is where we were meant to be.

This summer, Joel and I took an interest in learning more about the genealogy of our home.  After all, the real estate documents say it was built in 1920 so it is a pretty old house that has a lot of history.  We just didn't know any of it.  Joel, being the genealogist that he is, managed to put together a fairly detailed and complete history of Snow Cottage (that's what we named it)(okay, I named it--nobody else seems to care) up until about 1960.

I will not bore you with the entire history, except for a few things that were particularly interesting to us.  Firstly, we learned that the house was not built in 1920, but earlier.  We aren't sure of the exact year, but it was probably 1906-ish.  It was built by a mining engineer (copper mining was the thing that brought people to this area).  But on the side he was a musician. A musician! He played in the YMCA symphony orchestra in Ohio before he moved here, and he even composed music in his spare time.

Since music is what brought us here, we think this is pretty cool. 

In 1917, a French-Canadian family moved in.  They owned and ran a local grocery store and they had three daughters: Precelia, Marguerite and Stelia.  Three daughters, spaced and aged the same as our three daughters.

There are other cool things, like the first woman to graduate from our University lived here.  So did the first Electrical Engineering professor/department head.  But the musical example and the three daughters thing sort of took my breath away.  Joel's, too.  Kind of like the house chose us.

Maybe that's a strange thought, but it just further confirms my knowledge that this is the house we are meant to live in.

(Even if it is in terrible need of a paint job.  And new windows.  And new carpet.  And. And. And.)


Two postscripts today:

1.  I am very excited and extremely honored to be a Featured Blogger at!  (That stands for Time Out For Women, and I love their website.)  Go here to read my post.

2.  I have an exclusive discount code for my readers.  If you are in the market for a new dress, click here.  Maybe you could even get a new dress to wear to Time Out For Women.  I hear there are presentations  coming up in Phoenix, St. George and SLC in November.  Hilary, I'm looking at you.

Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. That's pretty cool. Although you'll understand if I'm still bummed you didn't buy my grandma's house. I so would have enjoyed visiting you there. *wink*

  2. I'm so happy for you! Your home has an amazing history which now includes you and your family! It's a darling home even if it does need work, what home doesn't? I can see that is has character and I can see why you like it.

    I also want to applaud you on being featured in TOFW. What an honor! It doesn't surprise me though as you are a very talented writer.

    I admire you so much! Thanks for your friendship.

  3. How awesome! Cool to recieve confirmations like that. So neat.

    We recently decided to start on a business venture that terrified me at first (not because of any risk, there is no investment, but for other reasons, especially that it just is something that has never, ever appealed to me). Since Greg thought it was a good idea and we started looking into it I have had experience after experience confirming that it is what we're supposed to be doing. Even now that I'm totally on board, I'm being given seriously breathtaking confirmations, usually through MAJOR coincidences like the ones you mention in your post. I am very grateful for this and will not have second thoughts, even when the going gets tough.

  4. It looks like a cool house!

  5. Love the house. Maybe sometimes 2 wrongs do make a right :)

  6. Lara I noticed that you came over to visit my blog and I am so glad you did because it prompted me to come and meet you and visit your beautiful blog.
    What a very interesting life you have. I am a musician and singer in my heart, although I have no real talent. I love that you do!

    Your house is so neat and I cannot think of a more interesting project than finding the geneology of your house. I truly believe that sometimes houses and place do pick us - they feel right :-)

    I also have to tell you that I adore the post below. My girls are grown now but they always loved their American Girl dolls. I never got to take them when they were young but a year ago my oldest daughter and I both got to go to the AG store in Chicago and it is a dream - We both turned into 10 year olds - giggle!!
    Your girls look so cute there with their dolls.

    I look forward to visiting your blog more often in the future!

  7. Sure, nowhere in this blog do you mention that I WAS THE ONE Who convinced you to buy that house, and then you all call me out to go to TOFW. I'm getting some serious flack from my mormon cheese post of the day.
    Well, just a little flack
    And i'm fairly well used to that. :)

  8. What great stories about the history of your house! It makes you wonder what the inside walls have seen.

  9. Oh, that is too cool! I love stuff like that and your house looks really awesome! I'm trying to do the same thing here. No one seems to know exactly when our house was built. Between the late 1700's and early 1800's. I'm looking forward to school starting so I can do some research like you guys did!

  10. Very cool.

    And we have a tiny garage that barely fits our minivan too, and I've whacked the mirror more times than I can count. It's still there, but barely.

  11. Thank you so much for coming and visiting my blog! It was mighty neighborly of you. :o)
    Your house sounds wonderfully right! I love it that your hubby used his genealogical sleuthing skills to learn about it! Those skills come in handy!
    I wonder if anyone will ever find the writing my children did inside the walls before our sheet rock went in?
    Thank you for visiting! Can't wait to get to know your blog!